Sephora haul… because I can!

To celebrate a successful two month long No Buy, I decided that once my student loans came in, I would treat myself to some goodies from Sephora! I knew going into it some of the things I wanted, but I gave myself a budget of 150 dollars and shopped away and let me tell you, it felt great. I received my order last night and was super excited to see and touch everything — and swatch it!

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Here’s what I got in its entirety. The Too Faced bb creme I actually got off Amazon but since it all came in the same day, I figured I’d include it in my haul post.

So let’s start, shall we? First, I got the Sephora cream lip stain in Blackberry Sorbet. Before I left for Canada, I had the color Marvelous Mauve on my cart, but I ended up buying it when I was in Canada without realizing that I had already been planning on getting it! But now that I know how much I loved that one, I had to get a new color to add to my collection.

Something else I’d had my eye on for a while was the stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Amalfi. After swatching literally every hot pink lipstick in Sephora, this one won out, and knowing that I loved their formula since I already have Venezia helped!

And last for the lip products is Bésame Cosmetic’s Classic Color Lipstick in Red Velvet 1946. If you’re a nerd like me, you might know this as the lipstick that Peggy Carter wears in Agent Carter! After reading a lot of reviews online and seeing how much everyone loved it, I caved in. I mean… look at that packaging.

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Now, what I was definitely most excited to receive was definitely was the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop, AKA the collaboration that Jaclyn Hill did with Becca! I had my eyes on it when she first announced it was coming out, but I knew I absolutely needed it when I saw it at my local Sephora and swatched it. Definitely love at first sight.

Something else I couldn’t wait to get my hands on was the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla! This is definitely a case of “blogger made me buy it,” as I’ve seen so many people (but particularly Ana) rave about it.

Along with my Sephora purchase, I got a lot of different samples, which I’m obviously very happy about! I received a bareMinerals bareSkin sample trio, containing a deluxe sample of the bareSkin serum foundation, plus the perfecting veil and a tiny little buki brush (how cute is it?). I also got a sample of Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser, tarte’s maracuja creaseless concealer and a sample of Clinique’s cleanser, exfoliator and moisturizer for combination to oily skin!

Lastly, I got the Too Faced Air Buffed BB Creme in Vanilla Glow, which I also heard was great from a few different bloggers and I can’t wait to see how I like it!

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Here we have, from top to bottom: Red Velvet 1946, Blackberry Sorbet, and Amalfi.

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Top to bottom: Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop, bareSkin serum foundation in bare linen, Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla, and Air Buffed BB Creme in Vanilla Glow. Both the bareSkin foundation and the bb creme look a little dark for my skin, but it is the underside of my arm which is ghostly pale so I’m hoping that on my face it’ll work better. Worst case scenario, they’re donated to my sister, whose skin is a tad darker than mine.

So there’s my haul! I’ve been waiting quite a long time for these things and I’m happy with everything I got. After two months of a No Buy, it may seem silly to turn around and spend quite a bit of money on this, but I had two whole months to think about what I wanted and I thought about it very carefully!

What do you think? Do you own any of these? Any of them that you’re curious to try? Let me know in the comments!

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Guest blogger week, day 4: Maddy’s tips for saving money and looking cute

Hey everyone! Valentina asked if I would like to be a guest blogger about a month ago and I’m really excited to have the finished product ready for everyone to read. My name is Maddy and I’m in school for journalism in Canada, however my biggest passion is fashion and makeup.

The school year is, sadly, fast approaching and as most of you reading this know, keeping up to date on fashion and makeup trends can be a fairly expensive thing to do. You’ll find yourself rationalizing skipping out on groceries in order to buy a new makeup pallette, or working a few extra shifts to get that jacket you saw and loved. As a student, it’s taken me a couple of years of experimenting, but I’ve finally figured out a few ways to save money and still look incredible.

  1. Rewards Cards

I can’t begin to stress enough about how much reward cards have saved me. Almost every store has rewards and sooner or later they are bound to add up points. This past week I went into Sephora and asked to redeem my points for the lowest level tier. Usually you’d think that the lowest level would have things you would never use and want to spend your saved points on; however, for only 100 points I was able to get a free sample of Benefit’s ‘They’re Real’ mascara. Not only does this allow me to try brands and products I was unsure of before, but this mascara “sample” is also big enough to last me until I can redeem more points for other free mascaras!11949643_10153636547068223_1421536623_n

  1. Email Subscription

Yes this may sound ridiculous (and slightly annoying) but hear me out. Create a separate email that isn’t connected to anything school or work related, then go in store or even online and sign up for your favourite store’s email programs. Many stores give you discounts upon signing up, like 10% off your next purchase, but the most important thing is that you’ll be in the know for whenever there are sales.

The emails sent out will not only notify you when there are store wide sales available for all customers, but many stores will also give you sales only available for subscribers. Just walk in store, show the cashier the email you received, and it’s instant money saved. It costs absolutely nothing to sign up, but it’ll save you a lot in the end.

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  1. Monthly gifts

Websites like Birchbox and ipsy send you gifts every month with a fairly inexpensive subscription. This allows you to try a lot of different high quality products for a minimal price. Both subscriptions are around $10 a month and while this doesn’t always guarantee a good haul, it will allow you to experiment with products you’d never thought you’d use. While I’ve never used this service, I’ve heard great reviews from friends and family who don’t have the time or money to go looking through stores for products.

  1. No-name brand matches (dupes)

This tip is more specified to makeup, however the idea behind it can be applied to all brands of trends. Many people, especially students, truly don’t care what brands you’ve bought. There, I’ve said it. Brands. Don’t. Matter.

That being said, many expensive brands usually have higher quality products. Therefore the only solution is to look for brands that are very similar in style and quality. For example, at MAC there are many lipsticks I love and adore but can’t spend the money on. Instead, I’ll grab the name of the lipstick and search up what its matches, or dupes, are on Google.

It’s that simple. You aren’t the first and you certainly won’t be the last person trying to look fashionable on a budget. There are entire makeup blogs dedicated to helping you find your matches with almost every makeup brand, you just have to know where to search.

Here are some links to get you started:

While these tips and tricks seem obvious, many people, including myself, don’t use them often enough. I started paying more attention to saving my money this year because of my ridiculous University tuition and I’ve still managed to stay on top of the latest trends. So, as the summer comes to a close, I wish everyone good luck in the new school year; may your fashion sense flourish and your grades stay high!

Thanks again to Valentina for being her usual lovely self, I hope I’ll be able to guest write again!

Birchbox, Boxycharm and ipsy: August 2015

Woohoo! It’s that time of the month again! No, not that time of the month — it’s beauty subscription time!

This month, because of the move, getting all of these was a pain in the ass. I moved after the first of the month, so I didn’t change my address on the websites, but I did change my address through USPS. Apparently, that means absolutely nothing, and all of the packages were at my old apartment still. After a very long wait at the post office, a very nice supervisor offered to personally contact my carrier so I could get my mail and I received a call later that day saying he had all three of my packages and if I could be there before they closed, I could get them. Needless to say, I ran out of the house to make it before five, and lo and behold, there they were!

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Isn’t it just so beautiful? Doesn’t it just make you want to tear up at the sight?

But I digress. Let’s get on with the show!

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First up, we have ipsy. For ten dollars a month, you get five samples or full-sized products. I haven’t been loving my ipsy lately, but this month’s is better than the last few and I’m hoping it’ll keep going that way!

This month, I got:

  • AILA nail polish in Mister Pookies.
  • Marc Anothony Nourishing Argan Oil Treatment.
  • Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk.
  • Noyah lipstick in Desert Rose.
  • Skone Cosmetics Eye & Lip Pencil in Wine.

Overall, I like everything well enough and certainly better than the last few months! I was most excited about the cleansing milk and the lipstick and least excited about… nothing, actually! I want to try everything for once!

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Up next is Birchbox. This box was pretty solid and I like everything I got! Birchbox is usually pretty consistently good and I appreciate it a whole lot more now that I’m more into skincare than I used to be.

This month, I got:

  • Dr. Jart+ Deep Hydration Sheet Mask.
  • Crabtree & Evelyn ultra-moisturizing hand therapy.
  • Rusk volumizing mousse.
  • IPKN New York Pore Apple Sun Cream.
  • Laqa&Co Cheeky Lip in Cray Cray.

In this month’s box, I was most excited for the sheet mask, and probably least excited about the mousse, though I still want to try it.

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Because I have no self-control, I upgraded my Birchbox subscription to receive two full-sized items for an extra 20 dollars a month. With this, I got a Marcelle eye shadow duo in Rockin’ Rose, and a Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge in Sydney. I’m so excited to try them both! Not regretting the extra money… yet.

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Lastly, my Boxycharm was definitely loaded with goodies!

This month, I got:

  • CoastalScents Revealed 3 palette.
  • So Susan highlighting crayon.
  • MICA Beauty gel eyeliner.
  • SETA eyeliner brush.
  • Nios Shield leave-in conditioner.

I was definitely most excited about the Revealed 3 palette, but I was happy to see how great the rest of the products look! Another great box this month.

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Lastly, here are the swatches. From top to bottom, we have:

  • So Susan highlighting crayon.
  • MICA Beauty gel eyeliner.
  • Laqa&Co Cheeky Lip.
  • Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge.
  • Marcelle eye shadow duo.
  • Skone Cosmetics Eye & Lip Pencil in Wine.
  • Noyah lipstick in Desert Rose.

As you can probably see, all these goodies look fantastic and I can’t wait to try them out! What did you get in this month’s beauty subscriptions? Let me know in the comments, and as usual, follow me on instagram and twitter!

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Long awaited Make Up Academy haul!

I know I said last haul would be my last one for a while, but surprise! Before anyone says anything: no, I didn’t break my spending ban already.

No, seriously.

Here’s the thing: my friend Hannah Jean was in the UK in June and I asked her to get me a few things from MUA while she was there. She was there in early June, AKA WAY BEFORE I DECIDED TO DO NO SPEND JULY. So no judgment, okay?

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that over with, let’s go on with the fun stuff: what I got! I was so excited when I realized I could ask her to bring this stuff back and she was all too happy to help me out! I knew what I wanted and she did her best to find most of it in stores, which she did. I’m so excited to try this stuff out!

IMG_0016Here’s what I got:

  • Spring Break Palette (£4).
  • Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder in Pink Shimmer (£3).
  • Nail polishes in Steel Blue and Whitewash (£1 each).
  • Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers in Aflush and Dare (£3 each).

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These were arguably what I was most excited about, and also what really started it all. I wanted to get these after I saw someone I follow talk about the ones she got and I knew I had to get my hands on some! Luckily, Hannah Jean was more than willing to help me out and get some! I wanted Aflush, Funk, and Halcyon, but she couldn’t find Halcyon (and I think she confused Dare for Funk, but it’s okay because I love Dare anyway). I want a few more but I’m hoping Lucie will get me them when we do our care package/makeup swap (hint, hint).

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Alright so Steel Blue wasn’t actually one of the colors I wanted (I wanted Bold Blue) but I’m not too fussed about it as I like the color and I can definitely see myself wearing it! And I love the idea of having crisp white nails (is that a word I can use when talking about nails?) so I loved Whitewash!

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THIS THOUGH. This was what I was most excited for (after the lip lacquers, of course). I’ve never used a highlighter before and the only one I have is a cream one that I’ve had a lot of trouble applying, so of course I was hella excited to get a powder one. It’s not super pigmented so I don’t have to worry about accidentally putting too much on but I think it’ll be buildable and I’m really psyched to try it!

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And lastly, the Spring Break Palette. What a beautiful, beautiful range of colors that are not all nude and therefore just the slightest bit out of my comfort zone. Considering everything else I got is firmly lodged in my comfort zone (even if I’m new to highlighters, it’s still a simple enough concert), this was definitely something a bit new to me that I can’t wait to experiment with! The colors are all beautifully pigmented, as you will see in the swatches below.

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From top to bottom, we have Dare, Aflush and the highlighter. I barely rubbed my finger and swiped it over my skin and it was hard to photograph but it’s there, I promise! It’s just nice and subtle but still shimmery and I LOVE IT. The lip lacquers are definitely matte and they felt matte before they were even dry! And when it came time to wipe them off so I could swatch the palette, I had to fight with them quite a bit so that’s really good too.

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This picture just makes me so, so happy. So pretty. Much wow. As you can see, some of the colors are definitely in the nude range and within my comfort zone, but the ones that aren’t are still within reach of it. The purple and blue colors, which I was most intimidated about, are light enough to not be scary, while that shimmery copper shade is to die for! I can’t wait to try this out.

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And lastly, we have the nail polishes. Sorry for the awkward hand positioning, it’s hard to get a good picture with only one nail in it! This is Steel Blue, which is a light blue shade, slightly reminiscent of Disney’s Cinderella. This was about three coats, which isn’t too bad for something that only cost one pound!

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And here we have Whitewash! This probably could’ve used another coat but I figured it wasn’t too pressing if it was just for a quick picture. I absolutely love this color and I can’t wait to get a chance to wear it! Maybe I’ll get away with it at work.

What’d you guys think? What are your favorite MUA products? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to follow me on twitter, instagram and tumblr!

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Slightly belated June favorites

Hi guys! How’s everyone doing? I’ve been really busy so I’ve been slacking a bit with my blog this past week, but I’m posting this today and scheduling two more posts for the upcoming week to tide us over until things calm down a bit! That being said, while I’ve had this blog for two months now (two months today, actually, happy month-aversary to me!), I’ve never done a monthly favorites post before. So here’s my first ever monthly favorites post!

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Here we have:

  • Ben Nye Luxury Powder in the color Buff: I use this mainly to set my under eye concealer, and I really like how it feels! I’ve noticed some creasing but I’m not sure if that’s the powder or my concealer, so I don’t want to discard this one quite yet.
  • NYX Roll On Shimmer in Salmon: This is actually something I’ve had for a long time now but I just recently rediscovered it and it had to make my favorites list! On days where I don’t feel like spending a lot of time on my eyeshadow, this is perfect to dab on and make my look shimmery and sparkly!
  • MAC Lipstick in Impassioned: You may have seen me rave about this for one of my 30 days of lipstick posts, and it’s the first lipstick that I thought of when I was trying to pick a favorite for this month. It’s a lovely color, stays forever and will probably become a staple in my collection.
  • Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner: I got this in my ipsy a few months ago and I picked it up a few weeks ago because I was working (and still am) on using up all the samples I’ve received. I love wearing it alone or underneath makeup and if it weren’t $45 dollars for a full sized one I would totally buy it!
  • 12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment: This is also something else I only picked up to go through all my samples but I’ve been loving it lately! When I actually have the time to wash and dry my hair, I spritz this on before blowdrying and I’ve found it really helps!
  • Nourish Organic Face Cleanser: I didn’t like this at first because of the smell, but after a month of using it every day, I actually barely notice it anymore! The best part is, my face does feel a lot better and I’ve had a lot less breakouts as well.
  • Simple Cleansing Micellar Water: Almost everyone I follow recommended this to me, and boy am I glad to have checked it out! I love using it to take off my makeup or just to give my face a nice, clean feel. It actually works really well to remove my eye makeup, and it just makes my face feel super clean and hydrated!

So here we have my June favorites! What made your list this month? As always, let me know what you thought and don’t forget to follow me on instagram and twitter!

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My perfect and precious little MAC collection

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t always been a huge fan of MAC lipstick, even though I’ve been obsessed with lipstick for at least a few years now. It wasn’t until my ex-girlfriend, who was a huge huge fan of MAC lipstick, introduced me to it the first time I stayed at their apartment that I was introduced to the wonder of MAC lipstick, and ever since, I’ve been obsessed. Throughout our relationship, they gave me a MAC lipstick for special occasions (Christmas, my birthday, and Valentine’s Day) and thus started what I’d like to think of as an obsession now.

All my beautiful babies!

All my beautiful babies!

Three of these I got from my ex, one of them I stole (oops) and the other two I bought. I have Velvet Teddy, Ruby Woo, Impassioned, Full Fuchsia, Lady Danger, and Heroine!

I actually used my camera for once and the pictures are so much better!

Left to right: Velvet Teddy, Full Fuchsia, Impassioned, Lady Danger, Ruby Woo, and Heroine.

Lady Danger was the first one I got and I was immediately drawn to it because it was so bright and such a beautiful color. I got it in August but I didn’t wear it much, I’m not even sure why. After that, I got Full Fuchsia, Heroine, and Impassioned, and Ruby Woo and Teddy Velvet are my most recent purchases!

I just took a lot of nice pictures, bear with me.

I just took a lot of nice pictures, bear with me.

I used my camera instead of my phone for once, so I couldn’t resist the temptation to do a nice little photoshoot with the baes! (Yes, I did just call my lipstick the baes. Don’t judge me.)

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Taking pictures of swatches is hard, guys.

Because I know this is what you’re all here for, these are the swatches. From left to right: Velvet Teddy, Full Fuchsia, Impassioned, Lady Danger, Ruby Woo and Heroine.

Okay, okay, now I'm done.

Okay, okay, now I’m done.

Velvet Teddy, Lady Danger and Heroine are all matte finishes. Ruby Woo is a retro matte finish, and Full Fuchsia and Impassioned are both amplified finishes.

Honestly, I love them all like they were my children and I could probably buy ten more and still not have enough. Do you own any MAC lipsticks and if so, which ones? And if you don’t, which ones would you like to have?

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30 days of lipstick: days six through ten

Hi again! Time for the second installment in my 30 days of lipstick series. I bet you’re all super excited!! I know I am. If you missed that post or you’re new around here, I’ll catch you up: a few weeks ago, I realized I have an abnormally large collection of lipstick, and in all my frantic lipstick buying, I had forgotten about products I haven’t worn in a while or even ones I’ve never worn, so I challenged myself to wear a different lipstick from those mentioned above every day for 30 days, and that brings us to this post! Let’s get right to it, shall we?

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Day six: ColourPop Lippie Stix in LBB

First up in the post is this beauty from one of my ColourPop hauls. The ColourPop website describes this as a “rich plum wine with a matte finish.” I originally bought this because I wanted something that was a little out of my comfort zone, as I tend to stick with brighter shades and shy away from dark lipstick. I absolutely love it and I’m so glad I got it! It’s a little more plum than I thought it would be (I had pictured it as more of a dark red) but there is a beautiful dark red on ColourPop I might invest in next time I shop there!

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Day seven: The Lip Bar in Purple Rain

This was one of those products I instantly fell for because of the packaging, but absolutely adored because of the product itself! I’d pictured it as a darker more Heroine-like purple, but it’s almost got a pastel quality to it that I absolutely love! I would wear this over and over again (and invest in more of their lipsticks as well) since it’s so nice and so soft! It’s creamy and goes on very smoothly. It came in my first ever BoxyCharm and boy am I glad it did. If you have a chance, definitely check out their site for some beautiful high quality colors!

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Day eight: Little Mix by Collection in Leigh-Anne

I wore this for my internship and was absolutely impressed with it. I already really liked the Little Mix ones I wore last week so when I picked this up, I was really excited to try it! It stayed put all day, even through lunch and the six cups of water I drink every day. Plus the packaging is super cute and that always makes me happy.

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Day nine: MAC lipstick in Impassioned

You might have seen this one (briefly) on my wish list post that went up the other day… oops? Turns out I already had this in my MAC arsenal, which just goes to show I should do an inventory of lipstick. This one was a gift (possibly Christmas or Valentine’s Day) from my ex-girlfriend and let’s just say that it’s exactly the kind of color I’m into so I’ll be keeping this one around! I mean, who gets rid of MAC lipstick because your ex-girlfriend gave it to you?

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Day ten: Wet N Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Don’t Blink Pink

Everyone raves about the two dollar Wet N Wild lipsticks that apparently are wonderful so I gave in and bought two (I had another one I rarely wore which is going to be featured on here sooner or later). Needless to say, they didn’t disappoint! This one was beautifully bright and I loved it, I just wish I had exfoliated my lips before wearing! Definitely very matte and long lasting.

So that’s it for now! Do you own any of the lipsticks I wore the last five days?

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